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Belarusian army aims to protect Russian airspace, not to atack other countries
Belarus's neighbours regularly voice their concerns about Minsk's role in a potential Russian invasion of the Baltic states or Ukraine. However, on 15 June, Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka insisted that although Belarusian and Russian troops were operating in...
27 March 2017
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Editorial: responding to violence in Belarus

Following the violent suppression of peaceful political protests in Belarus, many policy-makers Western capitals are at a loss. Should they re-impose sanctions? Ignore human rights violations for geopolitical concerns? To resolve this quagmire, it is important to understand why the...

6 March 2017
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The Belarus-Russia conflict through the lens of the Gerasimov Doctrine

The recent visit of Alexander Lukashenka to Sochi on 15 - 26 February 2017, which did not include an audience with Vladimir Putin, casts the relationship between Minsk and the Kremlin in an ever more ambiguous light. Tensions between Belarus...

24 January 2017
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Will the Kremlin topple Lukashenka?

On 20 January, Alexander Lukashenka described the reactions of Russian officials to the introduction of the new five-day visa-free regime in Belarus as 'groans and wails.' Recently, rhetoric surrounding Russian-Belarusian relations has become so sharp that some journalists and analysts...

6 December 2016
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Is the isolation spell broken? – Belarus foreign policy digest

In November, the Belarusian president held meetings with leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia, Slovakia, Turkey, and a high-level EU delegation. The Slovakian Prime Minister's visit to Minsk ended a six-year long hiatus in bilateral visits of European leaders to Minsk. Alexander...

29 November 2016
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Will Russia occupy Belarus in 2017?

Recently, the Russian Ministry of Defence disclosed logistical data of railway traffic to other countries for the upcoming year. It revealed that the Kremlin is planning to significantly increase the amount of military cargo headed for Belarus. This may be...

2 November 2016
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Autumn of tough economic decisions – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 17 October 2016, new macroeconomic data from Belstat, Belarus's national statistical committee, indicated that this year's economic decline seems to have finally halted. The GDP stopped falling and foreign trade saw a slight revival. However, on 21 September the...

12 October 2016
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Thwarting plans for a Russian airbase, Minsk strengthens its air force

On 1 October the investigative platform Bellingcat reported that Russia has withdrawn its fighter jets from Belarus. After analysing satellite images, it found no Russian planes on the Baranavichy ​airbase. Bellingcat also found that they had not been redeployed...

13 September 2016
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Opinion: four Russian instruments of control over Belarus

Many observers have noted that Belarus is slowly drifting towards the West and away from Russia. This is corroborated by experts, results of independent opinion polls, and the intensity of contacts between Belarus and the European Union. Russia retains...

16 August 2016
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Opinion: Is the EU Resistant to Belarus’s Europeanisation?

Since the start of the Ukrainian crisis, Belarus has experienced a decisive shift in policy. On the domestic front, there has been a strengthening of territorial defence forces, while internationally Minsk has shown willingness to reach out to a...

1 August 2016
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Analytical paper: Belarus-Russia relations after the Ukraine conflict

Since the Russian-Ukrainian conflict began, the Kremlin has persistently tried to expand its control over Belarus, a process that has had quite the opposite effect as Belarusian government policy became more independent in 2014-2015. There has always existed a paradox...

23 May 2016
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EU and Belarus: All Politics to Be Gradual

After the 2015 October presidential elections Belarus gears up for a parliamentary one on September 11 with little expectations of democratic improvement. Albeit authoritarian, Belarus is both a functional state and society. The EU is learning to live with this...

22 March 2016
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Testing the Waters: High-Level EBRD Delegation Visits Belarus

The removal of sanctions against Belarus earlier this year has led to increased interest from institutional investors such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Alain Pilloux, Acting Vice President of this major development bank visited Belarus last...

18 March 2016
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Why Belarus KGB Detained the Country’s Former Top Businesman

On 11 March, the Belarusian State Security Committee (KGB) detained Yury Chyzh, one of Belarus' richest businessmen who used to be on friendly terms with President Alexander Lukashenka. The European Union once viewed him as "Lukashenka's purse" and he was...

19 February 2016
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Anti-Reform Camp Wins, Analytical Papers – Ostrogorski Centre Digest

In February Ostrogorski Centre (OC) analysts commented on the lifting of EU sanctions, Belarus' new military doctrine and the economic challenges the Belarusian government is facing amid the deepest crisis since 1990s. As the repercussions of the continuing economic crisis...